Whitehead, Co. Antrim
Blackhead Lightkeepers' Houses are ideally situated on the North Shore of Belfast Lough. The views from this property are stunning and fill visitors with pure delight and admiration.
The panoramic views from this property are stunning and fill visitors with pure delight and admiration. This magnificent house, in its breathtaking location, is a proud example of Ireland's maritime heritage. Guests can enjoy spectacular views over Belfast Lough from the Lightkeepers' Houses. Lying 20 miles north of Belfast, Whitehead is only a 40 minute train journey away from city center shopping and many historical tours.
The lighthouse was built on the north shore of the entrance to Belfast Lough in 1901, opposite its twin across the Lough at Mew Island. These two were important in protecting commercial shipping when steam replaced sail in the mid 19th Century, and would have guided all of the great ships of Belfast's shipbuilding glory days, including the ill fated Titanic.
The houses contain interesting fragments of lighthouse paraphernalia, including the whistle pipe system used to wake up the next watch, and a tunnel that was used to travel between the lighthouse and quarters during stormy weather.
Built in the glory days of Belfast's shipping, Blackhead Lighthouse remains as impressive and powerful a navigation aid as ever.
The Story of the Blackhead Light
On the 10 November 1893 the Belfast Harbour Commissioners approached the Northern Lighthouse Board with respect to erecting a lighthouse and fog signal on Blackhead. The Board in their reply a month later stated that they could not recommend the cost of a new light and fog signal coming out of lighthouse funds when the light would only benefit Belfast.
Five years later, in February and March 1898, the Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Lloyds and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners all made representations for a light on Blackhead, but the Board referred them to their reply of 18 December 1893.
On 22 April 1898, Sir W. Watson presented a letter to the Board from Sir Courtenay Boyle of the Board of Trade, about a light and fog signal on Blackhead. The Secretary informed Sir William that he was in communication with the Belfast Harbour Board and that the Inspecting Committee was to report. Trinity House were approached and by June they were in favour of the proposal and required particulars. Towards the end of 1898 the Engineer submitted an estimate of £10,025 which was sanctioned by both Trinity House and Board of Trade early in 1899 - the light to be first order, giving two one-and-a-half second flashes every 30 seconds, the flashes separated by one-and-a-half seconds, and the fog signal to give one report every 5 minutes.
In July 1899 William Campbell and Sons received the contract to construct the buildings and tower.
On 30 March 1900 Trinity House drew attention to the fact that the character of Blackhead was similar to that of Blackhead in Wigtownshire, Scotland, the latter which was also nearing completion. The Board was requested to alter the character of the light and the following June the Inspecting Committee recommended a half a minute flash every three seconds. This was sanctioned by Trinity House and they reported that the Northern Lighthouse Board had changed the name of their Blackhead station to Killantringan. The new light was exhibited and fog signal established on 1 April 1902.
During 1918 the fog signal character was altered to one explosion every two minutes, but after January 1919 it reverted to its previous character - one explosion every five minutes
The Carnegie Library Bookcase
In the early years of the 20th century, before the coming of radio and television, the lighthouse and lightship keepers lived relatively lonely lives, serving, in many cases, six-week periods of duty at a time. Consequently, in coastal towns, the Carnegie Libraries granted a special concession to the light keepers by providing each station with a well made oak bookcase which was replenished with a change of books on a regular basis. The public library services of the various county councils eventually took over the function of the Carnegie Libraries but the regular supply of books to the light keepers continued well into the second half of the 20th century. Now that all the lighthouses are automated and no longer manned, the fine oak bookcases that remain in the keepers’ dwellings continue to bear silent witness to the great generosity of Andrew Carnegie, philanthropist extraordinaire.
Nearby: Whitehead Town (4 kms) Restaurant (4 kms) Shop (4kms) Golf Club (3 kms) Beach (4 kms) Browns Bay (10 kms)
GPS: 54.766921 , -5.689261
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
Our buildings were made to the standards of earlier times – and sometimes without the intention that they should be lived in. Consequently, you may encounter features that reflect their particular character but that deserve due care and attention, particularly by the young, elderly, less mobile or visually impaired. Examples of these are steps worn with age, uneven surfaces, low ceilings and beams, unexpected drops or changes in level, and by modern standards low or absent lighting. In all cases we have sought to make a sensible compromise between due regard for safety and the careful retention of the fabric of each building, which makes it an interesting place to stay. We ask you to appreciate and use the building with this understanding. If you have any queries about the property you are interested in and would like more clarification please contact Irish Landmark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arrival and Departure Time?
Unless otherwise agreed with the House Manager the earliest time at which you can check in is 4.oop.m. Guests may NOT take over the property any time later then 9.00pm. Guests are requested to vacate the property by 10.00am at the latest on the day of departure.
Is there a TV?
No, but there is a radio, board games, cards and plenty of books.
Is there WiFi?
No, at our properties you have an opportunity to experience the best of a former way of life: beautiful architecture, fascinating history and a peaceful relaxed ambiance, without modern electronic distractions, where you decide the pace of your holiday.
Can I bring a dog?
No. As Blackhead Lightkeepers’ House 1 and 2 are adjacent to one another, they are not suitable for dogs as not all guests are comfortable around animals.
Is linen supplied?
Yes – all beds are prepared and ready for your arrival.
Is there an open fire?
Yes. There is an open fire in the sitting room. There is a limited amount of fuel left for the fire (where applicable) so guests may want to bring more for the duration of their stay. Please contact the local House Manager for more information on what type of fuel is used at your chosen property.
Do I need a car to get here?
It would be preferable to have a car otherwise it will be difficult to get to shops, etc as the house is situated at the end of a long laneway.
How do I get the keys?
When you complete your booking, you will receive an email giving you information about arranging access on your arrival date.
Can I arrive early?
Only by special arrangement with the bookings office and agreement of the local House Manager. A charge is made if you are requesting a morning arrival, as this means we cannot take a booking for the night before your arrival date.
What is the latest departure time?
10.00am. The House Manager will discuss arrangements for your departure on the day you arrive.
How far to the nearest town?
About 10 mins drive back to the town of Whitehead.
Is there a caterer who will come in to cook meals?
We do not know of anyone who can go in to cook meals at this property.
Is it suitable for children?
This property is surrounded by a low wall but due to its cliff top location, it would be adviseable to supervise young children.
Is it suitable for older people?
Yes. There is a shower room on the ground floor but the bedrooms are upstairs.
Does it have facilities for disabled people?
The ground floor shower room is suitable for the assisted disabled.
Is it suitable for a wheelchair?
Is there central heating?
There is oil central heating with radiators throughout the house.
Is the cooker electric or gas?
There is an electric cooker.
Is there a shower?
Yes - there is a separate walk in shower in the shower room.
How many bathrooms?
Do you supply towels and bed linen?
Yes. The beds will be made up on your arrival and you will be provided with a bath towel and guest towel according to the number of beds in the property.
Can I get to the house by public transport?
Yes. You would get a train or bus to Belfast and then a local train to Whitehead.
A taxi could take you onwards from there to the Lighthouse. However, you would need a car to get to local shops, etc.
Where is the nearest train station?
What type of heating is in the house?
Oil central heating.
Can I book for just one night?
What is your minimum booking period?
Irish Landmark Trust have a 2 night stay minimum at all of our properties. Some Special Dates will have restrictions on arrival and departure date which will effect the minimum number of nights.
Is there a garden at the house?
Yes, there is a lawned area.
Is there outdoor furniture.
Yes, a table and chairs are provided.
How many cars can I bring to the house?
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is onsite parking for 2 cars at the back of the house.
Phone: +44 (028) 9335 1273
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September 23, 2020
STAYCATIONS AVAILABLE Late availability discounts are available on new bookings within the next 14 days
August 5, 2019
Irish Landmark Trust properties Open Day on 15th September for European Heritage Open Day 2019